Whendidyoufallinlovewithhiphop wants to extend mad love to the website’s new writer Hariata Sanders. I met Hari through my friend Swerve (long time bboy and fellow lover of Hip Hop), who gathered from knowing us both so well, we were bound to get along. Unknowing to any of us the importance this friendship would become; after discovering that we both were cut from the same cloth, we also discovered we’re writers. This was two months ago. Hari now lives in Melbourne and will be writing about what she sees there. With the biggest heart and most open mind I’ve met, I can’t think of anyone more perfect to do it either. This is Hari:
If I had to choose a song to pinpoint when I really accepted my own love of hip-hop, it would have to be Kanye West’s first international release – All Falls Down. Since then, I have explored the many realms hip-hop has developed into, alongside trying my best to identify its roots.
Unlike many who had deciphered their love of hip-hop from their own accord, I was almost forced into it all. I was born in the 90’s with two older brothers (five and four years my senior), so naturally I was exposed to hip-hop culture at a very young age. I grew up with the greats blasting in the background – Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, N.W.A, Cypress Hill and Wu-Tang Clan (not purposefully excluding the MANY others we all respect). Absorbing it all like osmosis that was my first identification of hip hop. Back then I was completely unaware of its remarkable placement in hip-hop history, and also its affect on me. I listened to the Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child like the rest of the girls in my class, but while I was analysing Left Eye’s verses (pausing my TLC cassette every five seconds so I could write down what I’d managed to translate, then hit rewind and read the lyrics aloud alongside her) other girls were tying their t-shirts in knots exposing their 10-year-old navels and teasing me for being too busy to participate.
Naturally, I have a great respect for women making (or that have left) their mark in hip-hop. Aaliyah, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill, Salt-N-Pepa and M.I.A to name a minimal few, have all influenced me greatly as the individual I am becoming, and my opinion on women’s worth. So this is my ode to hip-hop, my tribute to the greats. As I have learned the importance of hip hop in my life, I hope to encourage you to recognise its worth in yours as we explore this vast and fertile world together as mutual lovers and patrons.
I am excited to be reporting for WDYFILWHH as a correspondent based in Melbourne, so stay tuned! We’re going international.